The Forest Department has imposed monitory fines on two farmers in Junagadh district after two blue bulls were electrocuted within three days after coming in contact with live wires set by them around their field to protect their crops from wild animals.
The latest incident came to the light on Wednesday evening from Vadal village of Junagadh taluka. Atul Domadia, a farmer informed local forest officer that a blue bull had died after coming in contact with the live electric wire he had set around his groundnut field. The forest department said that the female blue bull was around five-year-old and had been electrocuted on Domadia’s farm.
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The incident in Vadal took place just two days after a male blue bull was electrocuted in a similar manner in Umrali village of Bhesan taluka of Junagad district on October 10. The male blue bull, which was around three-year-old had been killed on the filed of one Rambhai Nanagani, forest officers said.
Both these villages are located on the border of Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary. Wild ungulates like blue bulls, which are locally known as Nilgais, wild boars and spotted deer damage standing crops in villages surrounding the sanctuary by raiding them at night. To keep such animals at bay, some farmers set live electric wire round their fields, leading, sometimes, to electrocution of the animals.
“Both the farmers were booked for illegal hunting of the blue bulls. But the Umrali farmer had tried to misled the forest department by removing carcass of the blue bull form his field. Therefore, he was fined Rs 15,000. On the other the Vadal farmer did confesse his offence and instead informed us. Therefore, we showed some leniency and fined him Rs 10,000,” range forest officer of Dungar North, Suresh Tilala told The Indian Express on Wednesday.
Blue bull has been included in Schedule-III of The Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. Its illegal hunting can attract jail term upto three years and monitory fine or both. However, its a compoundable offence at the same time.
Blue bulls are also prey of Asiatic lions, the endangered carnivores which are found only in Gir and other protected areas in Saurashtra region of the state. Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to a few Asiatic lions. The incidents of the electrocution of the blue bulls, which are the largest antelope of Asia, come a week after seven men allegedly hunted down a male blue bull near Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary in Amreli for a feast.